I spent some time today, visiting the already much written about ‘Little Town,’ the new installation by Cica Ghost. And as I was wandering about, I was thinking about some things I had seen written on Facebook recently about Second Life. Because it can sometimes happen that people become frustrated with SL, or more likely perhaps, the people in SL who have upset or wronged them in some way rather than SL itself. It has happened to most of us, if you stick around in the virtual world long enough. For sure, not everyone is nice, some people will go out of their way to hurt or attack you in fact. And then the question comes up, ‘What’s the point of logging in!’ And then other people nod and agree and be like, SL is so drama/blah/over/pointless. Add your own word there, as you will.
So I was thinking about that, and walking about at Little Town. And then I met a 2 day old avatar there, who was upset because they couldn’t find anyone to talk to. I chatted with them a bit and then directed them to the Destination Guide, so they can hopefully find other SLers more chatty than me, lol. I also told them how they can save outfits… another thing they seemed clueless about. (I have no idea what they teach new joiners these days, but it seems to me, not much.) And so then I was thinking about being new in SL, and what makes people struggle through being new, and getting their head around the inventory and the viewer(s) and mesh and avatar editing and all that stuff, before they meet the sometimes even bigger challenge of making friends. And then, if you make it through all that, suddenly you are a year or two old in-world, 3,4,5,6,7, and you might ask yourself questions like, what’s the point of this? Is this benefiting my life in any way?
For me, walking in a place like Little Town answers both of those questions. When I am exposed to a build that presents beauty, creativity, inventiveness, fun! Then I can’t help but be reminded of the vision that SL was in its early days, and still is if you care to look for it. SL used to have the tagline, ‘your world, your imagination.’ It’s something that long time SL’ers kind of look back to with some nostalgia I think, in the days of Facebook and, IMO, the slightly suspicious attitude that people tend to come at you with these days, if you tend towards being more immersionalist in SL and enjoy the fantasy of a virtual world. And so it is with joy that I will explore an installation like Little Town, and lose myself in an unreal and wonderful dream for an hour or two, and with no shame at all, play in that dream that I am privileged to be invited in to.
This is what makes SL special I think. Outside of my friends and my club-life, which are special to me and I love dearly, it’s the extra ingredient that keeps me excited about SL. I read a quote from George Bernard Shaw once that went, ‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.’ So yea, if you want me, I’ll be over here floating on my Flying Ventilator…